History of Veterans Day
A federal U.S. holiday, Veterans Day pays tribute to all American veterans, alive and deceased, with special thanks to living veterans who honorably served their country during war or peace. Be sure to thank a veteran on this day, or better yet, send a patriot inspired floral bouquet to show appreciation for his or her service. Below is a brief history of how Veterans Day became a nationally recognized holiday, as compiled from History.com and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
History of Veterans Day
On the morning of the eleventh hour of November 11, 1918, there was a temporary stop to hostilities between the Allied nations and Germany in World War I. Commemorated as Armistice Day the next year by President Woodrow Wilson, November 11 was observed with a pause in businesses at eleven in the morning, as well as with parades and public gatherings.
On November 11 in 1921, an unidentified American soldier was laid to rest in Washington D.C.ís Arlington National Cemetery, and Congress declared the day a holiday in honor of war veterans. In June of 1926, Congress passed a concurrent resolution to annually observe Armistice Day, and an approved act in 1938 made the day a legal federal holiday.
Following the Great War, the largest military mobilization in U.S. history was brought about by World War II (1941-1945) and not long afterwards some 5.7 million served in the Korean War (1950-1953). Lobbying efforts by veteransí service organizations prompted Congress to amend the act and it was renamed Veterans Day, which President Dwight. D. Eisenhower signed into legislation on June 1, 1954, and November 11 became a holiday devoted to American veterans of all wars.
In 1968, the Uniform Holidays Bill was passed by Congress with the intention to ensure three-day weekends for federal employees, and therefore encouraging tourism and travel, with the celebration of four Monday national holidays.
The first Veterans Day under the new law was to be held on Monday, October 25, 1971, which ultimately led to disproval and many states continued to keep the original observance date. In 1975 after realizing the historical and patriotic significance to the original date, President Gerald R. Ford signed a new law declaring Veterans Day would return to November 11 observance starting in 1978. Since then, Veterans Day remains a federal holiday to honor veterans for their patriotism, service, and willingness to sacrifice to protect those at home.